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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Implementation of Whole Genome Selection in the U.S. Dairy and Beef Cattle Industries

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Use the BovineSNP50 assay to provide high-accuracy predictions of genetic merit to U.S. dairy and beef breeds. 2) Enable the adoption of WGEAS (whole genome enabled animal selection) by developing low-density and low-cost SNP assays for: a) intermediate-accuracy genetic prediction, b) mate selection, and c) parentage verification and traceability. 3) Develop, adapt and optimize statistical methodologies to: a) fully integrate SNP genotype or haplotype effects into existing genetic evaluation technologies, and b) supplement or replace pedigree data. 4) Collaborate and coordinate U.S. and European Union WGEAS activities.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
1. Collect genotypic data using the bovineSNP50 in both dairy and beef cattle breeding programs. 2. Develop statistical algorithms needed to implement whole genome enabled animal selection (WGEAS) specific to dairy and beef cattle populations as needed. 3. Determine subset of markers needed for low density SNP assay for application to parentage verification and reduced accuracy genetic prediction. 4. Collaborate with many organizations to utilize data generated by this project as well as other projects to obtain maximum utilization of resources generated.

3. Progress Report:
Activities in this project period focused on: 1) continued genomic resequencing of animals for the purposes of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery, diversity characterization, and fine mapping of causative mutations, 2) analysis of beadchip genotypic data for the continued refinement of genetic prediction equations within breed, 3) collaborative development of the beadchips as enhanced value genotyping platforms optimized for value and imputation, and 4) identification of haplotypes affecting fertility in Holstein, Jersey, and Brown Swiss cattle. Through industry partnerships, over 500,000 animals have now been genotyped on a variety of platforms, and these data are being used for the estimation of genomic breeding values in the dairy and beef industries. The rate of growth of genotypic data collection continues to accelerate in both industries. The BovineLD assay and products derived from this platform have rapidly been adopted in dairy cattle genetic evaluations, with the vast majority of animals genotyped recently being genotyped on a BovineLD or derived assay. This research supports two objectives of its related in-house project: 1) to use genotypic data and resulting bovine haplotype map to enhance genetic improvement in dairy cattle through development and implementation of whole genome selection and enhanced parentage verification approaches (Objective 2) and 2) to characterize conserved genome elements and identify functional genetic variation (Objective 3).

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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